Motivating your employees starts with motivating yourself. In the current world of work it's important to know you cannot always control what’s going on around you, but you can always control what goes on inside you! If you’re good at taking care of yourself, acting consciously and with purpose and seeing the good and the learning in everything, and benefiting from it, you will have a much clearer perspective on how your employees are doing.
When you increase your employee motivation, you will also increase their engagement.
It can be quite difficult to define motivation as it means different things to different people – where do you fit regarding the following – Motivation is:
- The art of positive thinking?
- Emotional Hype?
- Bouncing back from repeated failure?
- Incentive schemes?
- Loving what you do?
- A complex subject ……… or
- All of the above?
When you understand what motivation means to you, it is crucial that you understand what motivates each of your employees. Take the time to simply ask your employees what motivates them – they will be surprised by the question, but it is important that you know what drives them! It will be different for each of them but one thing is certain, they all want to be seen, heard - as in really listened to, and valued. So, if you are not aware of their motivators, schedule this activity into your employee engagement plan. Some of the most common motivators are:
- role clarity,
- feeling valued,
- being treated with respect and dignity,
- shared values,
- having a relationship of trust with their manager.
Additionally, do some self-reflection as a leader of people and ask yourself the following questions:
- do my staff look up to me or feel that I look down on them?
- how well do I know my employees, their personal circumstances, their professional aspirations, hobbies and interests?
- do they consider me a good role model, leading by example?
- how do they feel I treat them in public and do they consider me a good listener?
- do my actions speak louder than my words?
Whatever steps you take to support the motivation of your employees, make sure they have a direct input into deciding on their work goals for the year and they understand how their goals are aligned with the overarching goals of the organisation. They need to understand the ‘context’ of what they are being tasked with and where they fit into the organisation. This gives them a clearer perspective on the purpose of their role and responsibilities and ideally it will motivate them to apply themselves differently.
There is phenomenal change underway in the world of work now and as organisations change, so do people. You need to develop and maintain and environment where each employee can strongly motivate themselves and it is important to recognise that actively supporting employee motivation, is an ongoing process, not a task. To help you achieve this, use reliable and comprehensive systems which are established in the workplace e.g. remuneration systems, performance management systems, career path planning, staff development plans etc. It is important to ensure the various systems and structures in place are clearly understood and they support the equitable treatment of all employees.
An International Leadership Consultant and Mentor who has helped transform organisations in 27 countries, from her native Ireland, throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America. She has helped businesses to transform, by empowering their people to lead.
Author of ‘Dare To Be A Revolutionary Leader’, this classic book is full of simple and insightful exercises to help you to become a more soul-centered, people-focused leader. You will return to this book throughout your career, whenever you need to be reminded of why you wanted to become a leader, and how important it is to develop leadership skills in others.
An approved strategic consulting partner of Happy Teams, Charley leverages her vast experience in guiding Happy Team’s Customers in the areas of transformational leadership and employee engagement.